According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the southern Honshu jurisdiction of approximately 945,000 people is seeking permission to bring a Las Vegas-style facility complete with a casino and multiple hotels, exhibition facilities and retail elements to a 58.3-acre plot of privately-owned land on its Marina City artificial island. However, the source detailed that the territory is first being required to select a foreign firm to run this envisioned gambling-friendly development before submitting its completed license application to a panel of federal selectors in advance of an April of 2022 deadline.
Wakayama Prefecture reportedly launched the request for proposal (RFP) stage of this licensing process last March and subsequently received concrete operator applications from the local arm of Hong Kong-headquartered real estate giant Suncity Group Holdings Limited and a subordinate of Canadian private equity management firm Clairvest Group Incorporated. The jurisdiction is now purportedly due to consider these pitches using the new set of criteria in hopes of winning the race for one of the three 40-year licenses and opening its envisioned venue by the end of 2026.
The new-look implementation policy reportedly mandates that the planned integrated casino resort for Wakayama Prefecture concentrate on the dual themes of sport and wellness and serve as a vehicle to help economically revitalize the entire Kansai region. The jurisdiction purportedly also wants the envisioned development to attract up to 60 million foreign tourists alongside roughly $143 billion in economic benefits by the end of 2030.
Wakayama Prefecture’s implementation criteria moreover reportedly mandates that the design for the projected integrated casino resort be advanced and harmonize with its seaside Wakayama-No-Ura Bay site so as to help to promote a range of local culinary, geographic and cultural resources. Prospective operators must furthermore pledge that the coming development will feature at least one million square feet of accommodation as well as a range of other non-gambling amenities with its casino comprising no more than 3% of the total floor area.
The fresh protocols are to also reportedly require the successful operator candidate to help stamp out the harmful impacts of gambling by hiring an anti-addiction expert and requiring native gamblers to show their state-issued My Number identity cards. Finally, Wakayama Prefecture is to mandate that any future integrated casino resort include a sizeable police presence so as to prevent crime and maintain a ‘good and safe’ entertainment environment.